Chinese Police Won’t Return the $4.2B Seized PlusToken Funds; ‘Forfeit to the National Treasury’

PlusToken is back to worry the market. However, it is worth noting that many of the funds scammed by this Ponzi scheme have been getting sold over the years.

It has been more than 100 days, over three months, since these funds have been moved.

“This is bullish either way,” commented Su Zhu, the CEO of Three Arrows Capital.

Today, the reports came that as per the new court ruling, crypto assets worth over $4.2 billion have been seized by the Chinese police in a PlusToken Ponzi scam crackdown. The ruling came amidst the latest reports of China cracking down on online criminal activities.

The crypto assets involved in this scam were 194,775 BTC, 833,083 ETH, 487 million XRP, 1.4 million LTC, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 DASH, 6 billion DOGE, 79,581 BCH, and 213,724 USDT that are seized by the law enforcement from seven convicts, according to the judgment made public on Thursday.

Unfortunately, these assets won’t be returned to the victims.

“The seized digital currencies will be processed pursuant to laws, and the proceeds and gains will be forfeited to the national treasury,” said the court, but nothing is mentioned about the when, what, and how of it.

The market expects these crypto assets to be released in the market in a “gradual manner.”

The PlusToken Ponzi scheme started its operations in May 2018; it duped more than 2.6 million members.

15 people have been convicted in the case so far who are in jail for two to 11 years with fines between $100k to $1 million. One convict also successfully laundered 145 million yuan worth of crypto into the Chinese Yuan.

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Author: AnTy

Retail Investment Not Returned in Force Yet; This Doesn’t Feel Like 2017’s Bull Run

Today, BTC is tracing back the recent gains, going to the $17,400 level. A pullback has long been expected as Bitcoin has been surging since early October when the price was around $10,500.

For the last six weeks, the digital asset has been printed green candles, and this week, we might finally end up seeing some correction. However, BTC/USD is currently trading above $17,900 at the time of writing.

“We’re overextended here and due for a pullback,” Vijay Ayyar, head of business development with crypto exchange Luno told Bloomberg.

“Anywhere from between $18,000-$19,000 is potentially a top. We should have many people selling at these levels, especially those that bought at the top in 2017-18. Major rallies in the past always had 30-40% corrections. No reason to believe this time is different.”

Red in the Bitcoin market has the majority of the altcoins recording losses as well, with a few notable exceptions like FOAM (+90%), YFI (10.4%), and WAVES (7.6%).

Reaching for those highs

This week Bitcoin had a wild run as the leading digital asset went from $15,750 to nearly $18,500. With this, on Wednesday, the highest number of bitcoin addresses were created since January 2018.

Additionally, this uptrend saw the volume across the board, climbing to new highs. The leading spot exchange Binance recorded a new all-time high in its volume, as shared by its CEO Changpeng Zhao.

Yesterday, the real volume also surged above $6 billion, as per Messari. Even crypto exchanges went off as usual as the digital asset made some big moves.

However, on-exchange trading volumes are still below prior levels, “indicating that retail investment in the space has not yet returned in force.”

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“I don’t see this move as a mania or grossly over-loved just yet,” wrote Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Financial Pty.

Still Far Off

While volume hasn’t made new highs, the aggregated open interest in the BTC futures market has done so at $6.4 billion, in USD terms, that is.

However, in terms of Bitcoin, the open interest is far from the ATH — trailing at around 390k BTC, below the yearly average of 395k BTC.

On CME as well, the open interest surpassed the $1 billion mark.

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Comparing the current market condition with that of the last bull run, analyst PlanB noted,

“Big difference with 2017 is that most BTC sold today will never see the daylight again, they disappear into deep cold storage. Buyers today are professionals with long term vision and staying power.”

As we reported, Chinese state media also shared bitcoin’s bull run with the people noting that the bull run of 2020 is institutionally driven in a more developed ecosystem.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Hits $17,000, But It is Clearly Different This Time in a Number of Ways

Bitcoin is back on the move.

After a small pullback over the weekend, the start of the week was an explosive one as BTC ripped past $16,800 on Monday and hit $17,000 today.

With this, yet another milestone was achieved by Bitcoin as the last time we reached this point was on January 7, 2018, marking the close of the 6th consecutive up week in a row. These came a single-day high USD transaction volume of 2020 was made just two weeks ago at $13.56 billion.

Still, no one is late to the party yet as “many on-chain indicators show that the bull market is only getting started. With BTC at $16.8k, Reserve Risk is just breaking out of the green zone and even lower than 2019 when BTC hit $13k,” noted Rafael Schultze-Kraft, CTO at Glassnode.

This uptrend actually started when Square first invested $50 million in Bitcoin; it has been pretty much one-way traffic since then. Even PayPal sees great demand as seen in the surge in the volume on ItBit, the exchange service provider of Paxos.

Grab those BTC

As Bitcoin continues to edge higher to the congestion area between $16,100-17,150, the risk-on sentiment remains unchanged with the aggregate open interest (OI) rising yet again to a new record high led by stablecoin margined futures as opposed to Bitcoin margined products.

Amidst these gains, miners have been selling an average of 11 BTC per hour at exchanges compared to 214 BTC per hour being scooped off the exchanges; this week, it was 328 BTC per hr.

Meanwhile, the miner hash rate has stabilized following the difficulty adjustments and miners’ transitioning their ASIC hardware to coal-powered northern regions like Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang following the end of the rainy season in China’s Sichuan province.

Need to Break Above the 2017 High

Currently trading above $17,050 in the green with $3.4 billion in volume. With these gains, Bitcoin has surged 55% in this quarter.

Even despite the significant big gains and being more volatile than stocks, “the so-called minimum variance portfolio — comprised of the S&P 500 and a handful of digital coins — can nonetheless reduce risk meaningfully relative to equities alone, including during the worst of 2020,” said strategists Roberto Perli and Benson Durham of Cornerstone Macro LLC.

This year, cryptos are on a tear amidst the increased institutional acceptance, interest from not only younger investors but also family offices. The significant variance in their price moves is what makes them good diversifiers.

Bitcoin is seen as more and more like gold for the 20th century — a store of value. Compared to bullion’s 24% gains YTD, and down -0.29% in the fourth quarter, Bitcoin recorded a year-to-date performance of +133%.

Still, as we reported, the market isn’t that excited yet with the traffic seen during the 2017 top not here, by a wide margin. This can be seen in the Bitcoin-related tweets a day, which was around 120,000 at the height of the crypto boom and is now oscillating between 30,000 and 60,000.

“This rally is clearly different in a number of ways,” Guy Hirsch, managing director for eToro US, told Bloomberg. It is less speculative, and although despite recent developments, it has been advancing at “a snail’s movement, it’s in the right direction. Generally speaking, we’re very bullish on what’s happening.”

Even in the crypto market, the crash in the DeFi space in Sept. also has a lack of excitement in market participants.

“The individuals — a lot of those people got burned badly — they’re less excited about it now,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. “It’s certainly not the huge hoopla we had back in 2017 — that could change if it breaks above the 2017 highs.”

According to Greg King, CEO of Osprey Funds, a subsidiary of REX Shares that runs a Bitcoin trust, people at the dinner table will be talking about Bitcoin when it hits $50,000 or $100,000.

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Author: AnTy

Binance’s Mining Pool Becomes 4th Largest One Amidst ‘More Adoption & Institutional Participation’

Launched less than seven months back, Binance Mining Pool is currently the 4th largest one with a hash rate share of 11.36% after Antpool, Poolin, and F2Pool.

The leading spot cryptocurrency exchange Binance launched its own mining pool in April this year, which at the time was the 11th largest one, accounting for less than 4% share.

At the time when the pool finally went public, Spencer Noon of DTC Capital had shared his skepticism towards saying the “galaxy brain power move” by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao makes him nervous because this might led to exchange-owned mining pools to “prioritize their own transactions or even censor transactions to competitor exchanges.”

Recently, as we reported, a new Bitcoin mining pool actually promotes censoring certain Bitcoin transactions, which the community is against.

The increased market share is achieved by Binance amidst the bull run with Bitcoin up 120% YTD and ETH 253%.

As a result of the greens, the market has been experiencing heightened volume and interest from the likes of PayPal and legendary investors, including Stanley Druckenmiller and Ben Miller.

“Right now, we are definitely seeing more users come in, more adoption happening, and more institutional participation,” said “CZ” in an interview. “Overall, things are going pretty well, I would say.”

Regulatory Aspect

Amidst this, Binance.US also expanded its services to the 10.5 million residents of North Carolina, now serving over 80% of the US.

Binance.US first opened the registration to the United States users in Sept. 2019, but residents of the 13 states, including North Carolina, were excluded due to local rules and regulations.

Binance.US is an independent entity that is fully compliant in the US, according to Zhao, who said in an interview with Bloomberg that they are hopeful they will be able to get the licenses to offer its services in other left-out states as well.

Recently, as we reported, Binance started blocking the users who are US citizens, which according to Zhao, they have “always” done.

“But users do find intelligent ways to get around our block sometimes, and we just have to be smarter about the way we block,” he said.

“Basically, we do continually try to improve our blocking. There are sometimes a few guys who want to circumvent our blocking and still use the platform, and we have to come up with a smarter way to protect that, and when we do, we block them.”

As for China making new moves to regulate the crypto market, it doesn’t impact Binance’s operations because the exchange is not in Hong Kong, said Zhao.

“Our position is usually we want to see other smaller exchanges to succeed first in any geographic location, and then we will expand our services potentially to cover those regions as well,” he said.

But still, the Asia market “is pretty significant,” an estimated 25% to 40% of daily trading volume originating there, he said.

Commenting on China’s digital yuan plans, Zhao said the country is “way ahead” of other countries, which will put pressure on others. Being the first one to have a CBDC will mean attracting a lot of international usage and volumes, he added.

“This probably will help significantly in making RMB a more dominant currency in the world, and if that works, then I think that will put pressure on other central banks to get their own central bank digital currency out as soon as possible.”

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Author: AnTy

Here’s Why BTC and Gold are Getting Hammered while Stock Market Hits New ATHs

On Monday, US markets saw one of their strongest openings in months on the back of progress on the COVID-19 vaccine and Democrat Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

Markets soared even before they opened and after that, it was all-time new highs.

S&P 500 made a new peak at 3,628 with a 1.3% move today, beating early September’s record of 3,580.

Much like the equity market, Dow Jones hit a new high at 29,632, with a 1.8% upwards move while tech-heavy Nasdaq fell short of hitting its high.

Not just US stocks but global stocks also surged on Monday after drugmaker Pfizer said that early data from its coronavirus vaccine shows it is more than 90% effective.

France’s CAC 40 jumped 7%, Germany’s DAX climbed 5.4%, and the FTSE 100 in London spiked 4.7%.

Even the price of Brent crude oil vaulted nearly 8% to $42.45 a barrel.

Unlike the mania seen in the stock market, gold crashed hard. The precious metal took a dive to $1,850, with a drop of almost 5.8%. Much like the yellow metal, silver had a bad time today, falling 9.2% to $23.6.

The US Dollar index meanwhile only oscillated between 92 and 93.

When it comes to Bitcoin, initially, it held strong only to fall 6.5% on Bitstamp. Today, BTC moved between the range of $14,824 and $15,854. The leading digital asset remains 24% away from its ATH.

“This volatility is just fast money funds that play BTC as a higher beta GOLD dumping on vaccine news. The players that enter on behalf of the longer-term thesis for Bitcoin are not changing their positioning,” noted trader Cantering Clark.

At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading around $15,200 in the red (-2%) with $3.81 billion in volume.

BTC’s downward movement had altcoins trailing down as well, with top cryptos down between 3% to 8%.

Before the vaccine news even broke out, stocks were already rallying as investors reacted positively to political certainty following Joe Biden’s victory. During his victory speech on Saturday, Biden announced his plans to assemble a coronavirus task force to help curb the virus’s spread.

Coronavirus cases are rising at an alarming rate in the US, forcing some states to shut down parts of the economy. Recently, several major countries in Europe have imposed nationwide lockdowns again.

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Author: AnTy

Tron Network Suffers A ‘Large Scale Attack’ Now Back Online After Two Hours Of No Blocks

“TRON network gets back to normal. Enjoy sending money on TRON!” said Justin Sun, founder of Tron and CEO of BitTorrent.

The tweet has been regarding the Tron blockchain halting block generation early on November 2nd at block height 24653194. It hasn’t been until just over two hours later that it resumed.

Due to maintenance, several cryptocurrency exchanges Huobi, BitMAX, and Hufu then announced the suspension of deposit and withdrawal of Tron and TRC20 tokens, as per a Chinese media outlet.

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After the network was back online again, Sun took to Twitter to share the reason behind the downtime.

“During the 4.1 version upgrade period, the TRON Mainnet was attacked by a malicious contract on 2020.11.02 at 06:14 (HKT),” said Sun.

The attacker was able to initiate malicious transactions and cause Super representatives to suspend block production by using the authority granted to the contract developer.

“As the busiest blockchain network in the industry, the attacker hopes to get profit from the suspension of block production.”

But the Tron community acted immediately and fixed the problem. At 08:29, the main Tron network gradually resumed block production, and at 9:40, it returned to normal.

Sun further ensured that the data on the 15th largest blockchain remains intact, and the assets of the users are also “absolutely safe.”

“Withstand this large-scale attack, once again proving that the TRON network is the decentralized network with the most resilience and attack defense capabilities in the industry,” said Sun.

The price of the token TRX remained unaffected by the reports of an attempted malicious attack. At the time of writing, TRX was trading at $0.0248, down 4% along with the rest of the crypto market, which is recording losses across the board in tandem with the fall in BTC price to under $13,350.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Seeing New ‘Macro Bullish’ HODLers; Traders Call Out Short Term Sell-Off Before New High

Yesterday, we managed to get back above $10,800 before President Donald Trump sent the BTC price tumbling by announcing that he broke off the additional coronavirus relief fund negotiations with the Democrat.

Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin’s drop of 2% was in tandem with the equity market, which fell nearly 1.8%. But interestingly, it was gold that got hit the hardest, about 2.6%.

Markets are still wobbly, despite Trump backtracking, with altcoins continuing to drown in losses.

With notable losers including CREAM (24%), SWRV (20%), YFI (14%), SUSHI (13%), CRV (12%), and Aave (10%) DeFi tokens continue to bleed the most.

Micro Scenario

While the leading digital asset’s price remains subdued, bitcoin realized volatility has hit a three-year low at 20%.

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As we reported, this could result in a bout of volatility. Although network activity calls for bulls, bears can’t be called off altogether as the last time bitcoin realized volatility hit the lowest was right before the crash of November 2018 started.

“Bitcoin 30-day historic volatility has been falling fast and is in the ’20s. In the past, it has hit 20% vol 7 times. 6 times prices exploded higher immediately, and vol hit 80% in a few months. 1 time (Nov 2018) prices fell sharply. Either way, a big move is coming soon,” noted Raoul Pal of Real Vision Group.

Before BTC could jump higher in the near term, many are waiting for the price to take a dip first.

“I remain bearish for the time being. 10k support was tested, but lack of strength is apparent, price action is weak, no volume. breaking last low of $9,882 would likely trigger massive selling across the board. bearish until convinced otherwise by bull strength,” said Trader Crypto Yoda.

And while trader Loomdart is also looking for a downwards move, he doesn’t see BTC breaking the important $10,000 level before hitting the 2019 high of $14,000.

Macro Bullish

Amidst this, the coins on the spot exchanges are dropping, which is even more exaggerated with global exchanges.

According to on-chain analyst Willy Woo, this is “very macro bullish,” because “it’s a sign that new buyers are coming in to scoop coins off the markets and moving them into cold storage HODL, we are seeing new HODLers right now.”

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The analyst also points out how the 2017 bull market was fueled by the first scoop up of the coin at that time, which coincided with Wall Street Journal covering Bitcoin as a legitimate investment vehicle off the back of the Winklevoss ETF news. This time, the latest coins moving off the exchanges coincides with MicroStrategy buying Bitcoin.

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Author: AnTy

ETH Locked on Aave & Uniswap Records a Sharp Rise

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is back to recovering, currently at over $11 billion, reaching an all-time high of nearly $12 billion from last week, as per DeFi Pulse.

On this climb up, the amount of BTC on Ethereum is already at an all-time of 130.8k BTC. When it comes to Ether, at 8.2 million ETH, it still has some way to go before it hits a peak of 10.67 million ETH.

Interestingly, the third-largest DeFi project Aave with $1.63 billion in TVL, has added over 370 million ETH in just the last three days.

Since Friday, ETH locked in the lending protocol has jumped by more than 190% and a whopping 792% since the beginning of this month. Aave is the fifth largest ETH holder in the DeFi space.

The most amount of ETH is locked in Uniswap at 2.9 million, doubled in the past ten days. While Maker’s ETH balance stayed steady over 2 million throughout this month, both Compound and SushiSwap recorded a drastic drop.

Both are among the top five ETH holders, but the amount of Ether locked in Compound has been on a constant decline since the middle of this month, down 30%. Uniswap clone SushuSwap registered a whopping 72% fall in ETH deposit on its protocol, which is no surprise given its overall sliding value.

The price of Ether meanwhile, is also on the rise, up 3.24% trading at $364, a jump from last week’s low of $320.

These gains are in line with the rest of the crypto market, which is moving in tandem with Bitcoin, approaching $11,000. But while bitcoin’s options market is sending mixed messages, “front-end skew bid and 3-month largely flat,” Ethereum’s is much more bullish.

“This can point to hedging flow, especially given the rising trend of locking Bitcoin on the Ethereum network, as well as lend/borrow flow,” noted Dennis Vinoourov of Bequant.

At the same time, Ethereum bulls are also waiting for an update on the much-needed Proof of Stake (PoS) transition for which the Spadina testnet, dress rehearsal for the most important parts of the Eth 2.0, will go live this week.

However, the best thing happened with the Ethereum transaction fees, which have declined sharply since skyrocketing on Uniswap’s governance token UNI’s launch — another factor acting in support of the DeFi world.

The average cost of processing an Ethereum transaction has fallen to a 49-day lull, at $2.34 compared to early Sept. cost of $14.6, as per Bitinfocharts.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Re-Entering the ‘Intense Historical Trading’ Area Following a Strong Uptrend

Bitcoin is back at near $11,000.

The leading digital currency has been making its way upwards since the mid of last week. Today, to mark the starting of a new week, Bitcoin went as high as $10,985, re-entering the $10,800 to $11,000 area of intense historical trading.

With the move, BTC has broken through its 30-day moving average — indicative of a strong uptrend and “that large funds are willing to actively purchase on the market.”

Currently, BTC is trading around $10,900 in the green with about $1 billion in ‘real’ trading volume.

“Weekly close looks good and don’t know why people continue to be overly bearish. Bitcoin got a short term pullback, and -20% is nothing unusual. Bitcoin continues to uptrend, and for the third week in a row has closed above the support zone of $9900 to $10,175,” noted trader Josh Rager, adding “$11ks next.”

As for the futures market, the Bitcoin futures curve has widened, albeit modestly, although “given the uncertain macro theme further upside remains somewhat uncertain,” said Denis Vinokourov of London-based broker.

The strong move came following the bullish weekend not only for BTC but also altcoins like KNC, REN, LINK, LEND, and ZRX, which according to Santiment, experienced similar factors like MVRV ratio in the ‘bounceback’ zone, ‘blood in the streets,’ ongoing accumulation, declining crowd interest, and strong fundamentals.

And today, a positive move in BTC price has the altcoins getting green again. Among the top cryptos, Cardano (ADA), with early 11% gains, and Polkadot (DOT) with 8.42%, are leading.

Today’s top gainers include Hegic (46%) and Swipe (40%), while Orion Protocol (76.5%) and Pixie Coin (62%) are the biggest losers.

Becoming Less Volatile

The third quarter is coming to an end this week. September did what it has been doing all those years and ended the month at a loss of -6.7%.

Interestingly, this month, bitcoin has been less volatile than Tesla. In Sept. bitcoin moved less than 1.25% in absolute value 52% of the days, unlike 6% of Tesla.

While the volatility of bitcoin continues to drop, investors are slowly moving to bot trading to capitalize on the price swings. Chinese brokerage service Pionex which has a monthly trading volume of $5 billion on its online brokerage platform, has over 80% of its 100,000 users running a trading algorithm.

The startup with Shunwei Capital and ZhenFund among its backers makes about $3 million by charging a 0.05% fee per transaction. The Singapore incorporated company has 80% of its trades fulfilled by the order books on Binance and Huobi.

“Trading bots let users overcome their humanity flaws and become a rational investor,” said founder Chen Yong.

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Author: AnTy